MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“With his nearly indestructible body and incredible strength and stamina, the Thing possesses the ability to crush evil.”
Benjamin J Grimm tends to get simplified down to just dumb muscle, but he’s actually quite a nuanced character, perhaps the most nuanced of the core team. He’s quite literally the rock that grounds the team, as well as the most practically-minded member of the team, making him the perfect counterpoint to Reed’s lofty theoretical concepts. And, in case you couldn’t tell, he’s also my favorite member of the team. So, I’m always happy to see him get more proper appreciation. I’m also happy to see him get solid toy coverage, which is, admittedly, rather frequent. That works out, I guess!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Thing is part of the FF-themed assortment of the Retro Collection sub-line of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends. As with the rest of the team, he’s patterned on his old ’90s Toy Biz figure, in terms of both the packaging and the figure packed within it. That means that, like the others, he’s wearing his Byrne-era costume, specifically the more classic speedo-wearing look. The figure stands 7 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation. He’s largely the same as the last two Thing figures, which is understandable. It’s a really good starting point, and I’m sure Hasbro would like to get as much traction out of it as possible. Three years later, it still remains a very strong sculpt, and it’s still the best version of the Thing out there, so you’ll hear no notable complaints from me. This time around, he gets two new head sculpts, as well as a new set of hips to actually give him the short-shorts look. I didn’t hate the briefs look for the last two figures, but it would have definitely been out of place for this design in particular. The two new heads cover two different expressions, one angry and teeth gritting, and one more calm. Both sculpts take some rather clear inspiration from the character’s second season animation model from the ’90s cartoon, which I am totally on board with. It’s a little sharper on the edges to fit with the pre-existing body sculpt, but it really works. The angry expression is really great from every angle. The calm one is a little dopey looking in some angles, but even so I kind of find myself a little more drawn to it, just do to my own want to always have a not as angry option for any given Ben Grimm figure. Ben’s paint on this release more follows how the Super Skrull Series version did things, providing some highlights to a few areas of the sculpt. I don’t know that it works out quite as well on this particular release. In some spots, especially the feet, it feels a little bit slap dash. It’s ultimately not terribly noticeable in person, but it stands out a bit more in the photos than I’d prefer. It could certainly be worse, but I find myself almost wishing they’d foregone the accenting entirely, to really capture that ’90s figure feel a bit more. In addition to the previously mentioned extra head, Ben gets two sets of hands, one in fists and the other in open gesture. In contrast to the other figures, Ben and his accessories literally take up every available spot in the blister, so he definitely doesn’t feel like he’s lacking anything.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Any good FF set needs a good Ben Grimm for me, and I’m especially attached to that ’90s animated look. The fact that this guy is not only in the Byrne costume, but also leans more heavily into the actual animation style is pretty much exactly what I need. The accent paint’s a bit wonky, but certainly not enough to ruin the figure at all, and the sculpt still really shines. I’d love to see a variant in the tank top gear, but I can wait on that. This one is more than enough to hold me over until then.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.